The Best & The Worst Of Oscars 2016 By A Brutally Honest Oscar Watcher.

February 25, 2016  |  Awards, Outcast Opinions  |  No Comments
Several-Oscar-statues-014
The 2016 Oscar season has showcased the very best and the very worst of the grotesquely entertaining awards event. Like a horrendous car accident that you don’t want to look at, but you slow down anyway because you can’t help yourself not to, the Oscars are an expensive, bloody mess that every film fan talks about. The ballot boxes are closed, and we’re three days away from the show, so I want to share my 2c. on why I think this season went from being one of the most exciting in years, to one of the most insufferable, before it’s too late. I’ll end with my personal should/will win predictions (or you can just skip to that directly).
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Making Sense of the Controversy Surrounding Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper”

January 22, 2015  |  2014, Feature, Outcast Opinions  |  1 Comment

American-Sniper-Cooper-1

Joseph L. Mankiewicz once said, “The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn’t.” When I think about Clint Eastwood‘s “American Sniper,” which crushed the box-office last weekend with over $100 million in four days and garnered more Academy Award nominations than anyone expected, Mankiewicz’ words resonate all the clearer. The controversy this film ignited due to its success makes less sense than its incredible box-office numbers. Buckets of acid are being flung at the film’s supposed pro-American propagandist attitude, heroic celebration of its protagonist, and its rewriting of the Iraq war. The purported negative stigma of “American Sniper” can be summed up in this Storify page from independent journalist Rania Khalek, using reactions from certain audience members as fuel for her fiery accusations.

This fervent reaction is troubling because, within this whirlpool of flying dung, a lot of people seem to be forgetting a crucial factor: the movie itself. “American Sniper” is not a piece of pro-American propaganda, it doesn’t rewrite the Iraq occupation, it doesn’t celebrate Chris Kyle as a hero, it doesn’t downplay PTSD, and it doesn’t glorify war. The worst, legitimate, politicized accusation one can throw at the film is that its Iraqi characters are one-dimensional, pointing out one especially brutal scene featuring a drill and a terrorist nicknamed The Butcher that feels like a “24” episode guest-directed by Quentin Tarantino (even though, apparently, The Butcher is based on a real Shia warlord). Since the film’s primary focus isn’t an “us vs. them” mentality, but more a “man vs. war” one, the concern of depicting the villains as one-dimensional couldn’t have been a big one for Eastwood. It would have reportedly been for Steven Spielberg, the original director attached to the project. But once he stepped off, and Eastwood took over, a different kind of film was born. Since I’d take subtlety over sentimentality any day of the week, I’m pretty happy with how that went down.

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THE 25 FANTASIA FILMS WORTH CHECKING OUT

In just over 70 hours the city of Montreal is going to become very weird. The good kind of weird of course because it’s time for the Fantasia Film Festival to smear the city’s screens with the sweaty blood and bloody tears of the wondrously bizarre cult classics from the future and the past of genre filmmaking. Films from all over the world – but mostly from Asia because let’s face it, no one does the bizarre like the Asians – will be exposed in the one-day- sliced-off-three-weeks fest aiming to awaken your senses and make you wish you could tear out of your skin.

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10 Very Popular Upcoming Movies That Will Probably Suck.

10 THAT WILL SUCK

It wasn’t that long ago that my 25 musts (+ 20 honorables) got published. During my research for that, I was bumping shoulders with movies that were appearing in almost every list as highly anticipated but that, for this reason or another, I just couldn’t bring myself to give two tugs of a dog’s ball-sack about. (Thank you Mr. Warren Ellis for giving me an idiom I will cherish forever). Rather than bitterly think about these highly-anticipated-highly-likely-turds in my own head and curse under my breath every time I hear someone praising them or read something anticipating them, I decided to share my complete lack of enthusiasm on The Grapevine.

Do you agree with me? Do you fervently disagree? Wanna fight about it? Come at me in the comments here, or my Facebook page, or my Twitter and let’s discuss why I think these very popular movies will probably suck. Hit the jump for the 2 by 2 list that’s in no order.

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REVIEW: To call IT’S A DISASTER a disaster would be an overstatement. It’s closer to a poorly cooked meal. **1/2

April 15, 2013  |  2013, Comedy, Festivals, Outcast Opinions, Reviews  |  No Comments

While reading the premise for Todd Berger’s It’s A Disaster my eyes were anxiously opening wider and wider at the thought of watching a smart, quirky, hilarious new comedy with the always-funny David Cross and shamefully underrated Julia Stiles. No other names from the cast list rang any bells apart from America Ferrera whom I only know by name, not talent, so I thought this was an opportunity to perhaps make a new discovery of some undiscovered star finally getting their moment to shine in an independent comedy that did the festival rounds last year and was received quiet well. Even now, It’s A Disaster is anything but according to most critics, as the doomsday brunch comedy swings comfortably to and fro the fresh 70 percentile at RottenTomatoes.

So imagine my disappointment when the end credits annoyingly slapped me in the face with the realization that the only real disaster here was my wasted time.

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5 good reasons against KID WITH A BIKE, directed by the Dardenne brothers.

5 good reasons against KID WITH A BIKE, directed by the Dardenne brothers.

April 10, 2013  |  2012, Directors, Festivals, Outcast Opinions  |  No Comments

This will eventually become a tab of itself entitled “5 FOR or AGAINST” where I give my 5 good reasons for or against a particular movie. I did something similar for Silver Linings Playbook a while ago where I listed 5 good reasons why it’s worth seeing, even though I wasn’t particularly enamoured with it. Now I turn to outrageously lauded French brother filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne and their latest, 2012’s Kid with a Bike, to give you 5 good reasons why it failed to convert me into appreciating the handiwork of the Dardenne signature. Perhaps their ink is too dry for the likes of me! haHA!

5 good reasons await you after the jump.

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My Love Letter to HOLY MOTORS

Holy Motors

Today, one of my very favorite films of 2012 was released on DVD/Blu-Ray. In light of these news, I wanted to mark the occasion.

Because the film is such an artistic inspiration I feel like the only way I can properly express my love for it is in the form of a short love letter:

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POST-OSCAR THOUGHTS: THE really GOOD, THE kinda BAD & THE real UGLY

February 26, 2013  |  2012, Awards, Feature, News, Oscars 2012, Outcast Opinions  |  No Comments

Seth MacFarlane

You can exhale now, it’s over. Oscar season 2012-2013 is officially withering further and further away into the incoherent past as I type this sentence. By the time you finish reading this article Harvey Weinstein ( for those of you in the unknown, he’s the mogul behind SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK) will be mounting a whole new campaigning strategy for next year’s Oscar onslaught. This is of course after he finishes beating up a few interns to a bloody pulp down in the basement of his office. (Harvey didn’t have such a great night last night you see…)

The Oscar was an unpredictable horse in this year’s race especially in the SUPPORTING ACTOR, DIRECTING, BEST ACTRESS, both SCREENPLAYS and EDITING categories. Seth MacFarlane, the man behind the hilariously crude and at times too-bad-for-its-own-good Family Guy and that creepy botox smile, was hosting for the fist time ever and people didn’t know whether to peg him like a Gervais a la Globes or a Crystal a la Academy. Better yet, Risky Ricky or Boring Billy? Truth is he was neither, somewhere in the middle and in my opinion – kindofa dissapointment overall.

But enough! I will be going through the highlights and the lowlights of last night’s Tony Awards Broadway Show Episode of Celebrity Intervention Academy Awards right after the cut. But first, did you know that PICTURE, ACTOR, ACTRESS, DIRECTOR, SUPPORTING ACTOR and SUPPORTING ACTRESS all represented different films? Love it when the wealth is spread like that. Ok, now on to the GOOD, BAD and UGLY.

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2012 in 10. 2nd VERSION.

February 22, 2013  |  2012, Directors, Feature, Festivals, Outcast Opinions  |  No Comments
  • A NOTE ON THE 2nd VERSION:


    Top 10 of 2012   This second list only looks at the films seen in theaters and festivals during the 2012 calendar year. So a film with a 2012 North American release date seen in 2011 will not be here. A film that will be released to the public in 2013 but was seen in 2012 will be. New, bigger, greyer arrows for navigation. Hover over the edges and they will magically appear to direct you.  
  • THE 2012 FESTIVAL & THEATER VERSION.

    +

    HONORABLE MENTIONS
  • 10. DJANGO UNCHAINED
    directed by QUENTIN TARANTINO Django-Unchained
  • 9. LIFE OF PI
    directed by ANG LEE Life of Pi
  • 8. THE IMPOSTER
    directed by BART LAYTONThe-Imposter-2
  • 7. ZERO DARK THIRTY
    zero-dark-thirty-maya

    directed by KATHRYN BIGELOW

     
  • 6. TO THE WONDER
    To the Wonder

    directed by TERRENCE MALICK

  • 5. AMOUR

    directed by MICHAEL HANEKE 

    Amour-Riva
  • 4. TABU
    directed MIGUEL GOMES Tabu
  • 3. POST TENEBRAS LUX
    Post-Tenebras-Lux directed by CARLOS REYGADAS
  • 2. LEVIATHAN

    directed by VERENA PARAVEL & LUCIEN CASTAING-TAYLOR

    leviathan
  • 1. HOLY MOTORS
    holy motors directed by LEOS CARAX  
  • HONORABLE MENTIONS

    the_master -THE MASTER
    -THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
    -KILLING THEM SOFTLY
    -RUST AND BONE
    -KILLER JOE
    -ARGO
    -MISS BALA
    -THE GREY
    -CLOUD ATLAS
    -SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS

2012 in 10. 1st VERSION.

February 21, 2013  |  2012, Bold Cinema, Directors, Feature, Outcast Opinions  |  No Comments
  • Top-10A NOTE ABOUT THE LISTS:

    There are two versions because I can't make up my mind on which should be the official one. That's the long and short of it. This first version features are only those films that had an official North American release date, including films I've seen the year before in festivals. Click the small, black, insect of an arrow on the left for navigation.  
  • THE OFFICIAL NORTH AMERICAN RELEASE VERSION. 
  • life of pi

    10. LIFE OF PI
    directed by ANG LEE
  •  
    9. THE IMPOSTER
    DIRECTED BY BART LAYTON The Imposter
  • 8. ZERO DARK THIRTY

    DIRECTED BY KATHRYN BIGELOW Zero Dark Thirty

     
  • 7. AMOUR
    DIRECTED BY MICHAEL HANEKEAMOUR
  • 6. ELENA Elena
    directed by ADNREY ZYVAGINTSEV 
  • 5. THIS IS NOT A FILM this is not a film
    directed by JAFAR PANAHI & MOJTAB MIRTAHMASB
  • 4. ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA
    directed by NURI BILGE CEYLAN ANATOLIA
  • 3. TABU
    tabu-gv directed by MIGUEL GOMES 
  • 2. HOLY MOTORS Holy Motors
    directed by LEOS CARAX   
  • 1. THE TURIN HORSE
    directed by BELA TARRturin horse-gv
  • STAY TUNED FOR VERSION 2 WITH  4 DIFFERENT FILMS.  ALSO: HONORABLE MENTIONS.